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Djokovic schools Federer in Australian Open semi-final

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World no.1 Novak Djokovic stayed on course for a sixth Australian Open title, brushing aside the challenge of legendary Swiss Roger Federer in the first couple of sets before a rejuvenated and more aggressive Federer gave the Serbian ace a run for his money and made the match a real contest. Djokovic finally prevailed in four sets, 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Federer surprised pundits and fans alike by opting to receive on winning the toss, many believing handing the psychological advantage already to Djokovic.

The Djoker was in absolutely devastating form in the opening couple of sets, giving away virtually no free points and hitting the lines with unerring accuracy. Djokovic's depth forced errors off Federer's groundstrokes as the Swiss refused to take a backward step, and the Serb came up with gorgeous passing shots every time Federer tried to rush him at the net.

In fact, the odd points that Federer did win in the opening couple of sets, needed to be so good that they were worthy of their own highlight reel.

The opening set lasted just 22 minutes as Djokovic broke twice to take it 6-1, and seemed on course for a repeat performance in the second set as Federer, this time serving infront, found himself down set point on his own serve at 5-1. The Swiss legend dug himself out of that hole to hold serve, but Djokovic served out the set with relative ease to open up a two sets to love lead.

Spurred on by a severely biased Aussie crowd, Federer managed to make a contest of it in the third set as Djokovic's accuracy faded, and a bout of nerves kicked in with the Serb playing more cautious tennis, not going for as much as he did in the first two. Federer clawed his way back into the match with a break of serve in the 6th game, and staved off a battling Djokovic to take the third set 6-3.

The fourth set started in similar vein to the third with the two behemoths going toe to toe and Federer threatening to take the match into a fifth set. That hope though was shortlived for the packed house at Rod Laver Arena with Djokovic breaking through in the vital 8th game to nudge ahead 5-3 and then serving out the match to love to continue his recent dominance of Federer in Grand Slams.

Djokovic's win takes him through to his 6th Australian Open final, and with the Serb having won on each of his previous 5 trips to Rod Laver Arena on second Sunday, it would take a gutsy man to bet against him from winning his 11th Grand Slam title.

Men's Singles Semi-final

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. [3] Roger Federer 61 62 36 63